Approximately 420 veterinarians from Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (MAPA) and state agriculture departments across the country began to receive training on how to handle situations in which bird flu is suspected in places where poultry is bred.
This information was provided by Luiz Cláudio Coelho, a veterinarian in the MAPA Poultry Health Coordination Unit.
According to Coelho, there have been no confirmed cases as yet in Brazil of poultry infected by the H5N1 virus, the cause of the disease.
He says that the purpose of the training is to prepare these professionals to act correctly and as quickly as possible in the event that fowls infected by the virus are detected.
"The training sessions will more or less run through September and October, precisely when migratory birds return to the Northern Hemisphere. By then our personnel will be trained and prepared to intensify surveillance."
Coelho emphasizes that suspected outbreaks must also be reported at once. "When a breeder perceives a high mortality rate among his flock, the fact must be communicated immediately, so that we, too, can act quickly, in case it is an outbreak of bird flu, to contain it as quickly as possible and keep it from spreading to other birds in the region."
Bird flu was the subject of a meeting held Friday, June 2, in the Planalto Palace. the presidential office in Brazilian capital Brasília.
The 1st Round to Update Journalists about Bird Flu was sponsored by the presidential Secretariat of the Press and Spokesman’s Office and the Under-Secretariat of Institutional Communication (SECOM), in conjunction with the press offices of various ministries, such as Agriculture and Health.